OS X Tips: Useful Mac utilities

OS X Tips: Useful Mac utilities

Summary: Improve your OS X experience by augmenting the operating system with a few utilities -- some free, some that will cost you a few dollars, all are excellent.

TOPICS: Apple, Software

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  • Introduction

    There's little doubt that OS X 10.9 Mavericks – of the upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite – operating system is a fully-featured platform that allows you to get a lot done, but adding a few extras in the form of utilities can help you get an awful lot more from the platform.

    Here are my top six utilities that I have installed on my Macs.

  • SnagIt

    Apart from the Google Chrome Browser, this is the application I use the most on my Mac. OK, OK, I know that's because I take a barrel-load of screenshots each and every day, and that might not apply to all of you, but if your job involves screenshots, SnagIt is a huge timesaver that streamlines the whole process.

    It also makes taking complex screenshots – where perhaps you have to use a timer or scroll down a window – a snap.

    I know OS X has built-in screen capture functionality, but I find it a lot more cumbersome to use than SnagIt.

    Price: $49.95

    More info.

Topics: Apple, Software

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  • Price!

    $5.99 just to stop your machine going to sleep?!

    $9.99 just for temperature and fan management?!

    Please tell me there are free alternatives, because if not that's horrendous!
    • You can stop a Mac from going to sleep in System Preferences.

      I have no idea on temperature and fan management but there probably are cheaper or free utilities.
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    • I think the idea is to temporarily prevent it from going to sleep.

    • Feel free to write your own...

      ...or to look for free alternatives (I assume that the USPTO hasn't seen fit to grant patents on routine system operations). If $5.99 is what the vendor charges, then that's what he charges. It's not like it's a huge burden to pay it.
      John L. Ries
  • Mountain Not Free

    According to the linked web site, Mountain is $5.99 not free.
  • This list is pathethic

    I was expecting to see productivity tools or innovative apps, but no just overpriced redundant utilities. The only cool one on the list is ForkLift 2.

    Check out the top rated Windows Freeware apps on Tucows for a much better selection.
    Sean Foley
    • Easy now...

      ...You can't expect much. When the reality hits you that there are far fewer Macs in existence than even Windows Phones (and Windows Phones have only been around for a few years)...it puts things in perspective. We aren't going to get the love from developers.
    • The list is utilities, not apps

      And a similar list of Windows utilities would largely be things only a nerd could love. Not sure what the difference is, or for that matter, what your point is.
  • ... some free, some that will cost you a few dollars ...

    I count one free, and as stated above, that's not even free. So all will cost you a few dollars. Few=49.95?
  • I was hoping you'd have some hidden gems

    Then you have an enhanced screenshot tool for 50$...
    Michael Alan Goff
    • Yeah that's a little bizarre

      Given that command shift F3 is free!
      • Heck

        I generally go all "command shift f4", but that's more to get a certain portion of the screen instead of the whole thing.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Snagit doesn't make a lot of sense unless

        you do screen shots professionally. Then it can be pretty nice because of the annotation features and the ability to scroll a web page and grab the entire thing in one capture.
  • I feel like

    This is an Mac OS X troll. There are indeed free apps that are better than these. That being said mountain sounds really nice. Sometimes I wonder why apple doesn't take a couple of hours and implement these apps features into the os itself for everyone.
  • SMC Fan Control

    is free and it keeps my Mac Pro cool as a cucumber.